Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan + Recipes

For many people, living with inflammation is just a way of life. Though they hate the feeling they get after eating certain foods, they don’t know any other way of operating. They don’t realize that many health issues are closely connected to inflammation due to the consumption of certain foods. Thankfully, there’s a rise in the amount of information surrounding the impact inflammatory foods have on the body.

Furthermore, more people are opting to choose diets that are supportive of optimal health. Though this will require a shift in the way you operate, learn more about the ways you can effectively adopt an anti-inflammatory diet that’s both realistic and enjoyable.

1. Inflammatory Foods to Avoid

Since you’re looking to avoid the woes that are associated with inflammation (acne, weight gain, depression, etc.), there are foods you’ll want to work on avoiding. If some of these foods are deeply ingrained in your current diet, just focus on decreasing your intake first. As you get accustomed to less of these foods in your diet, work on developing recipes that eliminate them completely.

Meat

If you’re not currently a vegetarian or a vegan, the idea of not eating meat might be overwhelming. When it pertains to acidity, meats are pretty high on the spectrum. That’s why it’s best to lower your intake of foods like red meat, chicken and pork. As you gradually decrease your intake of meat, the inflammation in your body will decrease.

Dairy

Dairy products like whole milk and full-fat cheese are known to cause inflammation due to the amount of saturated fat in each serving. In order to transition away from dairy, start by using 2% milk or reduced-fat options. When it pertains to milk, there are tons of delicious plant-based kinds of milk to choose from.

Sugar

Sugar is the culprit for a lot of health issues. Sugar is also tricky because it’s often found in countless items on the grocery aisles. Pre-packaged items like tomato sauce, granola bars and oatmeal contain tons of unnecessary sugar. Knowing this, it’s best to make your own tomato sauce, granola bars and oatmeal. Enjoy natural sugars found in fruit, honey or maple syrup instead.

Caffeine

For anyone who loves their morning cup of coffee, it might seem impossible to live without it. There are natural ways to feel energized without inflaming your body with caffeine. Start by scaling back on the amounts of caffeine you consume from sources such as coffee and chocolate.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Consume

Fruits

If you have a sweet tooth, you can learn to love the natural sugars that come from fruit. Fruits like berries, cherries and grapes are excellent options for anyone who’s looking to consume an anti-inflammatory diet. After washing and freezing grapes, they’re an excellent snack to suck on until the next meal. A variety of berries are excellent to include in a fruit salad or a smoothie. Those fruits are filled with tons of vitamins and antioxidants.

Vegetables

Vegetables are low in calories. They’re filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. You really can’t go wrong with any vegetable. However, when you’re looking to get specific, strongly consider options such as kale, broccoli and peppers. Curly kale is easy to saute with onions and garlic. It also works in a creamy green smoothie for a breakfast meal replacement.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are wonderful yet simple ways to increase the nutritional value of your food. They’re also excellent for making food taste even better. For an anti-inflammatory diet, look no further than turmeric. Turmeric is amazing because it contains a compound called curcumin that’s naturally fighting inflammation. Use turmeric in a popular morning drink called a golden milk latte. You can also use it to season roasted vegetables, meat substitutes and more.

Beans and Seeds

Beans and seeds are naturally filling. They’re really easy to mold into various meals for meat substitution. If you love chilis, create a multi-bean chili instead of a ground turkey-based option. Chia seeds are filled with fiber, and they will help your digestive system run smoothly. Other great options to include in an anti-inflammatory diet include kidney beans, flax seeds, and pinto beans.

3. FAQs about an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation causes so many harmful effects. If you want to diminish the look for wrinkles and skin spots, adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. As your body ages, it’s harder to eat the same way without seeing it in the physical form. This means that it’ll be harder to lose weight and get rid of skin issues when you’re eating inflammatory foods.

Outside of your diet, inflammation can also happen because of the sun. The sun can actually do a ton of damage to the skin during the aging process. Even on a cloudy day, it’s really important to make sure you’re wearing sunscreen on a daily basis.

If you’re struggling with a lack of sleep, constantly-changing hormones or tons of stress, your lifestyle might play a role. However, inflammation from the wrong food can easily show up as the main culprit.

As you age, one of the most important ways to avoid the onset of fatal diseases is by improving your eating habits. Studies suggest that it is very difficult for diseases to develop in a body that’s completely alkaline. If you’re eating tons of inflammatory foods, you’ll consume a ton of acids. In order to manage your body’s pH balance, learn to develop a habit of consuming anti-inflammatory foods.

4. Meal Options

When many people think of diets, they focus on all of the foods they can’t eat. This is a debilitating way to live. It’s also a great way to fall off of the wagon. Instead, look at it from the perspective where you learn about all of the meals you can prepare that will empower your body to thrive in the long run.

a. Breakfast

While there are many experts who believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that’s debatable. For some, a hearty breakfast isn’t realistic for their schedule. There are plenty of people who really aren’t very hungry in the early morning hours. As a result, they don’t have the true desire to eat much. A cup of coffee tends to be the perfect solution. Instead of drinking coffee, try a golden milk latte. It’ll provide the comforting warmth you love in the morning. It’s also filled with ingredients such as coconut milk, turmeric and honey. These options will support your efforts in an anti-inflammatory diet.

If you prefer a hearty breakfast, consider one of the most popular items in recent years: avocado toast. Avocados are filled with healthy fats. As a result, avocados are excellent for a satiated feeling until lunchtime. Instead of using white bread, use a sprouted bread option. Sprouted bread contains whole grains and seeds. Both are great for an anti-inflammatory diet. Add your fair share of greens, seasonings and spices to top your avocado toast with more flavor.

If you love an option like oatmeal, be sure to get an option like steel-cut oats. Add a plant-based milk such as almond milk to the mix. Add delicious spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for additional flavor. If you feel like you need a sweeter taste, consider making your own apple cinnamon oatmeal with fresh apples and maple syrup. You’ll be able to control the sweet flavor without spiking your blood sugar up.

b. Lunch

When you’re in the middle of a workday, it might not be wise to eat a hearty meal because you don’t want to fall asleep after it’s over. Besides, you still have a long way to go before the end of the day. Knowing this, it’s wise to eat foods that will empower your body to keep going.

A salad is one of the best options to consider when you’re looking to prepare an anti-inflammatory lunch option. Fill your salad up with tons of healthy greens such as kale and spinach. Add cucumbers, avocados and tomatoes to the mix. If you’d like to enjoy fish, fatty fish are your best bet.

Salmon, sardines, and herring are a few options to consider. You can always grill a great piece of salmon to add on the side of a salad. You can also enjoy options like anchovies in a homemade caesar salad dressing. Once you’ve added croutons, lettuce and other healthy toppings, your stomach will feel satiated. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about inflammation if you create a dairy-free salad dressing.

If you’re going out to eat with your co-workers, peruse the menu to look for options that will support your diet. If you’re not in the mood for a salad, that’s totally fine. However, if you want fries, you might want to make a slight consideration. Instead of ordering the standard fare of fries, ask the chef if there are sweet potato fries on the menu. If not, see if there’s a way to make it happen anyway. Sweet potatoes are incredibly nutritious, satiating and will serve the craving you have for fries.

c. Dinner

As the final meal of the day, it’s important to make sure it’s satiating yet enjoyable. Grains like millet, quinoa and brown rice go really well with a variety of options. The same is true for beans. If you love burgers or patties, consider making your own black bean burger from scratch. Add amazing seasonings such as turmeric, garlic and paprika. Once you’ve made the burger patties, you can either fry them in olive oil, bake them or enjoy them on the grill. Sautee vegetables, onions and other delicious options to go on top of the burger. Enjoy your choice of anti-inflammatory condiments such as mustard or dairy-free mayonnaise. Enjoy on a multi-grain bun for a well-rounded finish.

Honestly, beans and seeds are some of your best friends when you’re looking to create delicious meals for this diet. This is because they’re so versatile. Use northern beans to make a white-bean chili. Use chickpeas to create a delicious hummus spread for a platter. After sauteeing mushrooms, onions and spinach, create a bean filling for taco night. Top the tacos with salsa and homemade guacamole. Once your meals are seasoned correctly, it’ll be hard to miss dairy and meat. Plus, you’ll have glowing skin to show for your impeccably clean diet.

When you’re getting started on your anti-inflammatory food journey, it’s important to remain gentle with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’ll take time to try different recipes, experiment with various spices and develop a different palette. However, remain consistent in your efforts. As you work on changing your diet over a period of time, you’ll be able to see and feel the difference. Before long, you’ll look at certain foods and wonder how you were able ever to consistently consume them. Too often, people underestimate the power of healthy eating. When you eat the right foods, you can heal your body and mind. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the amazing benefits.

See Also

  • 17 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat

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